RECOVER UP TO 75% OF THE HEAT ENERGY FROM EXTRACTED AIR
Heat pipes significantly improve the effectiveness of dehumidification systems. They can double the moisture extraction rate while improving the quality of the recycled air. And it's all done at zero running cost.
Pre-cooling and re-heating for free
You can find an explanation of how heat pipes work elsewhere on this website. For those with a professional interest in the subject, we have prepared an hour-long presentation as part of CIBSE's Continuing Professional Development programme.
Heat pipes are efficient mechanisms for transferring heat from one place to another. Within a dehumidification unit, they remove heat from the incoming stream of humid air and add it to the outgoing stream of dry air. Between these two stages, the air passes across the dehumidifier's cooling coil.
The pre-cooling provided by the heat pipe brings the temperature of the humid air nearer to its dew point. The heat pipe extracts the heat energy associated with sensible cooling before the air reaches the cooling coil.
That makes the work of the cooling coil more efficient. Instead of working on sensible cooling, the cooling coil can extract the latent energy released through condensation at the dew point. Up to twice as much condensate can be produced, taking the humidity of the recycled air well below the level that could be achieved by the cooling coil alone.
The final stage is a reheating of the supercooled air by the heat pipe to give a warm and dry stream of exhaust air.
Improved air conditioning
Air conditioning units can contribute to humidity problems. If the cooling coil of the air conditioner only succeeds in bringing the air temperature down to the dew point, the exhaust air will simply be cooler and more humid than the intake air.
Air conditioning systems which recycle air will work harder, yet always fail to make a significant impact on the humidity levels. The situation is worse where the intake is drawn fresh each time from outside the building.
By placing a heat pipe around the cooling coil, the air conditioning unit will take the temperature lower, remove much of the moisture, and then reheat it afterwards. Best of all, the improved air quality is achieved without any additional energy input.
The heat pipe advantage
- No moving parts
- No direct energy input
- Totally passive
- Up to twice as much moisture extraction
- No need for reheat or desiccant systems
- Easy drainage of condensation
- Long-lasting – may well outlast the air conditioning system
- Virtually maintenance-free
- Environmentally safe
Health benefits of indoor air quality
The humidity of indoor air has a profound effect on the quality of life experienced by people who live and work in that environment. Maintaining air quality within the optimum zone of 40-60% relative humidity makes people more productive and results in fewer days lost through illness.